Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Magnetic Island to Townsville Swim 8k 31st July

the seconds tick the time out

Man against nature,
As the turquoise sea thickens ...
Today man survives.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tropical Island Dreaming

Red shoulders
Tired shoulders
Big red tired shoulders

Dry skin
Itchy skin
Too many hours in a heated pool

Big red tired and itchy shoulders

"knowing I'll be back at Echo Beach some day"
To soothe my weary shoulders in the salve of Cleveland Bay

Friday, May 27, 2011

Another New Beginnings End

2010-2011: Another year of swimming tragic

Ocean swimmers are an independent bunch
While the rest of the world follows calendar years, or summer and winter seasons
I love it that we've decided that the Australian ocean swimming season finishes at the end of May and starts again at the beginning of June
For no real reason, other than the sea water on the south east coat of Australia is usually warm-ish from November until May, the cool-ish from June to October

I have enjoyed some good swimming over the last 12 months
Followed pretty much the same regime as last year with pool training and ocean swim races most weekends in summer, but ventured a little further afield and extended with some longer swims and some adventure swims
Some glimpses of improvement in swim times, not getting slower anyway

Total distance swum in open water races was about the same as last year
I got off to a slow start with no swims entered in October, while I completed a lifesaving course.
And then ditched a couple of the crowded swims that I didn't enjoy from last year
Although did end up doing more 5k longer swims than last season

I don't think os.c is giving out the results of the Ocean Swim Tallies until the presentation nite next month, I'll have to wait and see if I'm in the running again for Magoo's Distance Tallies Trophy. I did hear that some other swimmers had made a late charge with some longer swims this month.

Highlights from last season ...

- Magnetic Island to Townsville swim 8k -
Loved completing a challenging long swim in tough conditions, Loved the rolling celebration party afterwards - From the Surf Club, to the Waterworks Hotel in Townsville, to the Sun Ferry, to the Picnic Bay Hotel on Magnetic Island - Remember what happens on the island, stays on the island

- Pan Pacs Masters Open Water Swim 5k - A fun swim around a small lake on the Gold Coast - Took home a gold medal (team) and a silver medal (individual). Sometimes race selection is more important than swimming ability

- Sri Chinmoy Lake Swim Canberra 5k -
Not what I was expecting - heavy rains had brought muddy brown water and a strong wind chopped up the course. A good challenge and I enjoyed finishing

- "Bold & Beautiful" Manly Swims -
Some good informal swims with B&B Swimmers - including a "10k" harbour swim and "10k" ocean swim, both swims supported with paddler and fully catered with a teddy bear's picnic at the halfway mark

- "Across the Heads Swim" with B&B Swimmers and - Tough conditions, a little nervous, a good challenge. I never thought I would be doing something like that when I started ocean swimming a few years ago

- Around Cape Banks Swim - Little Bay to La Perouse - Informal swim with Murray Cox ( - another good adventure

- Coogee to Bondi Redux - An Informal swim with my Seas The Limit training buddies - Good confidence booster to complete a swim 5k in big seas, rough water and 2m swell

- South Head Roughwater Swim - with Murray's team - spectacular scenery and quite fun actually

- Swimming at Coogee every weekend (almost) all year round with my old swimming friends

- Swimming in an ocean swim event somewhere up or down the coast most weekends in summer with my new friends from ocean swimming

Thanks coach Chad for keeping the training fun and interesting and helping me with the confidence and mental preparation needed to take on longer and more challenging swims

Every swim is still an adventure for me

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May Swims

The season for ocean swim races in Sydney is drawing to a close
2 individual events this month:
- Curl Curl 2k
- Bondi 2.1k
Did the South head Roughwater Swim as part of a team
And an informal swim around Cape Banks

Sunday, May 15, 2011

South Head Roughwater Swim 15th May

Hornby Light; photos

Macquarie Lighthouse

Team Finish

(native american name) Runs-with-balloons


10 k swim from Bondi Beach around South Head into Sydney Harbour finish at Watsons Bay.
Swam in a team of 4 with Murray Cox's team
This was the last leg of Murray's swim along the Sydney coastline

Quite a big southerly swell about 1.5m, behind us all the way
Good conditions, so times were fast
Water was coolish, 19-20c in the ocean, then dropped a couple degrees in the harbour

Shared the distance with the members of our team, with either one or two swimmers in the water at a time
I would have spent about 2 hours in the water, total about 5k swum
Our team finished on about 4 hours

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Around Cape Banks - Little Bay to Botany Bay Sat. 7th May

Cape Banks - Photo;


Little Bay Start; photo


Adventure swim with Murray Cox. One of the legs on his quest to swim the length of the Sydney coastline
From Little Bay south around Cape Banks into Botany Bay finish Congwong Beach at La Perouse
About 6k, took about 2-and-a-half hours
Tough swim with big southerly swell around Cape Banks and the current running against us as we swam into Botany Bay
A small group of 8 swimmers with a tinnie in support and a coastguard boat shadowing
Spectacular cliffs down the coastline from Little Bay to Cape Banks
Had to swim wide into Botany Bay to stay away from big surf pounding into the Cape
Turbulent at the entrance to Botany Bay where the current running out met the swell pushing in
And the water temp dropped a few degrees in the Bay
Water was a bit murky from swell, so didn't see any sea creatures, apart from lots those tiny blue fluorescent clockopods or whatever they're called
A good adventure today, I should have felt a like Capt Cook arriving in Botany Bay, I don't think anyone's done this swim before
But actually I was just pleased to finish and relieved when my feet touched the sand at Congwong Beach after a tough swim

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Coogee to Bondi Redux - Sat. 30th April

Towards Shark Point Clovelly

Autumn is the silly season for ocean swimming in Sydney
The water is still warm, but big seas this time of year usually result in some scheduled swims being cancelled or run over shorter courses
And some of the outdoor 50m training pools start closing until next season

Some swimmers from the club were looking for a big hit-out last weekend, in preparation for the South Head swim next month, so the shortened course for the annual Coogee to Bondi ocean swim last Monday was disappointing. Although I do understand the concerns of water safety trying to keep an eye on 300 swimmers out there in big seas and poor visibility

And so it was that a small group of 7 ocean swimming extremists pushed out from Coogee this morning to swim the original course to Bondi, taking advantage of the big seas to test ourselves on a longer swim in rough water. Our support kayaker sensibly declined to go out in the choppy conditions, so we agreed to stick together and all look out for each other in the water

We had to stay out far from Shark Point and the cliffs at Waverley because of the big swell up to about 2m on parts of the course. We didn't see much of Bronte and Tamarama beaches, keeping well away from the breaking surf. The current against us was unexpected and made progress slow, so I was happy to get around McKenzies Point into Bondi. Big surf at Bondi beach made for an interesting finish

Cold shower at Bondi to shake off the mild seasickness, then a lift back to Coogee for coffee and a big breakfast
Good training swim 5k, about 1hr40mins - slow going in tough conditions